After months of bickering, there is some movement in the tug-of-war between the mayor and the governor over how to pay for improvements to the MTA's network of bus, rail and subway lines. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
There may be light at the end of the tunnel in the fight between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio over funding for the MTA.
NY1 has confirmed that the de Blasio administration has offered to pony up $2.5 billion over five years for improvements to the creaky transit system. That's nearly four times more than what the mayor had proposed back in June.
The governor's reaction?
"If the city pays less than $3 billion, you have two options: increase fares, which I'm against, or reduce the capital plan," Cuomo said.
But at least there's movement, even if the verbal sparring sounds awfully familiar.
"The last thing I want to do is put money into the MTA on the assumption it's going to help the people of New York City, and wake up and see it goes to some other purpose," de Blasio said.
The state-run agency has said it has no way to pay for about one-third of its $30 billion plan to maintain and expand the region's transit system.
Cuomo says he'll pony up $8 billion in state revenues, but he insists the MTA needs another $3 billion, minimum, from City Hall.
"It would be unconscionable to ask the taxpayers of upstate and Long Island to fund New York City, but New York City isn't going to fund the MTA," Cuomo said.
Not so, say de Blasio and other city officials, who believe city residents already do more than enough. And that was before the latest offer from the city.
After months of a public back-and-forth between the mayor and the governor, advocates expressed hope that the two parties may finally be close to finding common ground on the matter of transit funding.
"It used to be that there was a $15 billion gap and we didn't know how it would be filled. We're now arguing over a much smaller sum of money, which really means it's time for the governor and the mayor to sit down together and hash it out," said John Raskin of Riders Alliance.
The clock is ticking. The MTA's board wants to approve the capital program at the end of the month.